What Are a Father’s Time Sharing Rights in a Paternity Case?

January 2, 2019

In Florida, divorce and family law courts determine whether parents should have shared parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility based on what is in the child’s best interest. Under a shared arrangement, both parents maintain the responsibility for raising the child and making major life decisions on the child’s behalf, meaning both parents must stay in constant communication about these issues and be able to function maturely as parents together. In a separate arrangement, only one of the parents has the right to raise and make decisions on behalf of a child.

Part of parental responsibility is the legal right of each parent to have a relationship with that child. So as a father, if you’re involved in a paternity case, what are the time sharing rights you have guaranteed to you under Florida law? Here’s a quick overview from our law firm in Miami, FL.

Time sharing

It is important to note that, although women are more likely to obtain custody of a child than men (for a variety of reasons), the law does not prefer the mother over the father with regard to custody and time sharing arrangements.

Time sharing, often referred to as “visitation” in other areas, refers to the amount of time a parent spends with his or her children after the divorce is finalized. There is a detailed parenting plan laid out by the divorce court that overviews how the parents will handle parenting the children after a divorce, including the amount of time each parent spends with the children, and when and where they will spend that time.

If both parents have equal time sharing, child support will be calculated based on the state’s guidelines, including factors such as the income of each parent, health costs, daycare expenses and medical expenses.

Under Florida law, the amount of time each parent has with the children affects the amount of child support to be paid as well. For the purposes of these calculations, only overnight stays are used. The more the percentage of time sharing favors one parent, the more support that parent will receive.

As a father, you have a right to time sharing with your children, even if the time sharing percentage is more heavily on the mother’s side. You cannot have this right taken away from you, except in very rare and extraordinary circumstances in which the court determines you would be a danger to the child. Therefore, if the mother of your children is attempting to block you from spending time with your children, you have the right to take court action and enforce your right to time sharing.

If you’re interested in learning more about how time sharing arrangements work in Florida, we encourage you to contact a paternity lawyer in Miami, FL at the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler with any questions you have, and we will be happy to provide you with the answers you need. Contact us today to arrange a consultation or learn more about what we can do for you.

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